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Hands free mobile calls

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Cuban822/08/2019 09:39:02
2809 forum posts
13 photos

**LINK**

This to me draws so many parallels to the dreaded drone issue , i.e. a parliamentary committee draws certain conclusions that IMHO, flys in the face of common sense and relies on test data that is taken as gospel, just because some 'expert' has said that there's a problem.

Hand held mobiles whist driving , yes a complete no-no, but I simply don't believe that proper hands free use poses any more risk to one's concentration while driving, than many other actions that we take whilst on the move.

My better half's Fiesta has voice activated this and that to turn the radio on or change CD tracks etc etc - I'm sure more expensive vehicles take it much further. Where will that technology stand? It's apparently quite OK to carry on an animated conversation with your passenger at 70 +mph on the motorway (we've all seen it) but commanding your car's electronics is no different, I submit, to calling hands free on your mobile.

The carnage on our roads need to be addressed, how about starting with.....

Speeding, drunk or drugged driving, unlicenced drivers, tail gating, dangerous driving in rain, fog or ice. Feel free to make up your own list of lethal activities that are increasingly allowed to go on because of falling traffic police cop numbers. Another dubious easy hit to ban 'hands free' and not adressing the real problems.

I've used hands free for years, auto answer, but rarely to make calls out - no problems, never felt that I posed a risk. Optional control via the sat nav if I really needed to call out.

 

 

 

Edited By Cuban8 on 22/08/2019 09:44:31

alex nicol22/08/2019 10:24:50
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305 forum posts
15 photos

I disagree,

If you're unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident and it can be proved you were not giving 100% concentration to your driving you leave yourself open to a charge of careless driving.

  • You take a hands free call from an irate customer
  • Any call with bad news
  • distracted by kids bickering in back seat
  • in discussion with passenger(s)
  • lighting a cigarette
  • eating
  • rubbernecking

This list is only a few examples. That said I don't think specific legislation is required to cover it.

I used to be the typical business travelling chap, doing lots of motorway miles and taking calls. Now when I get in the car the phone is switched off. Bottom line for me is I don't want to be the guy who gets in the car and ends up in jail because I was on the phone and had an accident

Doc Marten22/08/2019 10:51:45
385 forum posts
4 photos

I agree with Cuban.

If you are going to legislate against hands free use based on distraction then the same points should be used for carrying children in the back seats, having an argument with your passenger or listening to a heated debate on the radio.

J D 822/08/2019 11:55:45
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1317 forum posts
78 photos

Someone's mouth is moving as they are driving, singing along with the radio/CD or on the hands free ? Can not see how this is possible to police.

John Bisset22/08/2019 12:11:55
198 forum posts

I agree with Cuban, though I do understand Alex' point.

Of course it is important not to get distracted - when I had a hands free phone I used to start any conversation with a warning that I was driving. Hence there might be a pause or a comment of 'Wait' at any time,. This is exactly the same as when flying - we were taught to 'aviate, navigate, communicate' in that order.

I did the same with kids or talkative folk in the car -if things got busy I would call for silence. Generally., folk understand this quickly.

The point is of course I was TAUGHT to do this. When we taught our kids to drive I did the same - as I did with my flying pupils. (A favourite check was to wait until a pupil was on final approach to land, then ask for name and address or date of birth. What I wanted was either silence, or a mutter of 'not now'.

We don't teach new drivers this; we should. There is a hierarchy of tasks to do as a driver. But then, there are so many other things not taught. Skid training? Snow or ice driving? High speed driving so folk know what a car feels like close to the limits. Even proper overtaking is seldom taught unless you learn in a country area. Now motorway driving can be taught, at last!

(It has always surprised me that it bis technically legal in the UK to light a cigarette, with all the hazards that involves, but not eat food while driving.

Keith Miles 222/08/2019 12:12:00
198 forum posts
6 photos

We have a phrase in pilot circles.

”Aviate, Navigate, Communicate”, in that order. Radio communication is an inherent part of flying and, like driving, it is a matter of priorities.

On the road, vehicle control and looking where you’re going are the priorities and far more important, for obvious reasons.

Holding anything in one hand whilst driving with the other is, obviously a bad idea and potentially unsafe, Manipulating such an object and paying more attention to it than the road ahead is downright dangerous.

Modern in-car systems are designed precisely to reduce distraction and, like pilots, nobody has to make or receive a call if it distracts from the two primary tasks and reduces ability to maintain full control of the vehicle.

It is about responsibility and judgement and any failure to prioritise appropriately and maintain concentration and control is bad driving.

So, I agree that to ban hands free phones on the “distraction” basis would be addressing the wrong problem.

Not only that but how would you PROVE that a hands free phone conversation was the direct cause of an accident any more easily than you could PROVE that it was due to any other forms of distraction, like screaming kids in the back seat, for instance?

I agree, that this has parallels with the “drone” issue where well meaning legislators are struggling to find a solution to reducing threats or dangers and resorting to simplistic solutions.

More often than not, humans are the problem and not the technology itself and perhaps too many people treat their vehicles as a mobile home extension or office rather than a potentially dangerous weapon.

 

 

Edited By Keith Miles 2 on 22/08/2019 12:15:03

Shaun Walsh22/08/2019 12:12:32
205 forum posts
13 photos

There is a more basic reason why this is impossible to police, there aren't any! Just look at the number of people you see using a hand held phone because they know that the chances of being stopped are practically zero. It doesn't matter how many new laws you introduce if you can't enforce them you may as well not bother.

John Bisset22/08/2019 12:19:21
198 forum posts

JD8 has good point too. How could we police this?

Every day I see cars - and especially vans - passing my house, out in the country on a quiet road, with phones clamped to their ears. At least with hands free they have both hands available even if not a brain!

So the existing laws are ignored, daily, routinely. Little point adding extra law which just penalises the sensible. (Not that this will necessarily stop it happening!)

This is very much like reducing further the alcohol threshold to cut drunk driving; the vast bulk of the remaining drink driving problem is people way over any limits - so cutting the allowable level just allows MPs to pretend they are achieving something. The indignant gutter press like it too.

What we need is to find a way to shame people into NOT using a mobile phone. It worked,.mostly, with drink driving, eventually. I can't suggest how.

Keith Miles 222/08/2019 12:23:46
198 forum posts
6 photos

Shaun,

But banning the equipment altogether would require no policing would it?

Problem solved!

What we need is a technology that takes the driving task away from humans altogether.

Oh, hang on.....

smiley

Alan Jarvis22/08/2019 12:24:43
168 forum posts
28 photos

Some years ago before mobile phones I ran a business and one day a couple came into the business complaining that one of our drivers (company details on the van) had
bad mouthed them. I asked them the circumstances and said they were parking and our van had gone past and the driver had bad mouthed them. I asked them what he had
said and they said they didn't know has their windows were closed.
I said I would speak to the driver when he returned which I did. He told me the vehicle mentioned had suddenly pulled into a parking space but he thought nothing of it.
I asked him why he had said something about it and he said he hadn't he had been singing along to the music on the radio.
Now a days could he have been on a hands free mobile phone or singing along to the radio?

 

Edited By Alan Jarvis on 22/08/2019 12:30:33

Cuban822/08/2019 12:48:00
2809 forum posts
13 photos

Interesting replies, gentlemen. No one in their right mind will countenance any form of distraction that would be likely to impare one's ability to drive safely and hence not be in proper control of your vehicle. With this hands free proposal, the problem, as with a lot of rule making is where to pitch the threshold? What in fact is distracting? With speed cameras all over the place, there's a risk that drivers spend too much time looking at their speedo rather than out of the windscreen. I find this a potential problem with long stretches of 'average speed camera' roads - difficult to resist the temptation to keep glancing at the instruments far more often than usual.

I've no doubt that some accidents have had their root cause in inappropriate behaviour during a heated/stressful phone call, but when you consider what I 'd guess to be the millions of H/F calls made by road users daily/weekly or whatever, without incident, the risk seems very small. Not trying to trivialise anything, particularly when life threatening injury, or worse, is involved.

Charges of careless driving or driving without due care and attention will surely cover most eventualities and I'd have thought that allowing one's self to permit your driving judgement to be impared by a H/F phone call is, as has been said, a matter for the driver to bring under control. Education rather than legislation.

Bob Cotsford22/08/2019 12:54:09
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8059 forum posts
444 photos

Proving use is usually done by accessing the phone's call log. I don't like hands free calls when I'm driving, I find it distracting. However on the BBC the other day the talk on hands free bans include the possibility of banning all distractions including radios and satnavs! Sheer lunacy.

J D 822/08/2019 13:23:11
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1317 forum posts
78 photos

I live in an area where most of the roads are single track with passing places. It would seem to me that being able to reverse is no longer taught. I was on my tractor the other day and met a young chap in a little Renault.

It was painful watching him try to reverse ten yards in a straight line to a passing place, each attempt ended in the hedge, he just had to turn the wheel when all that was needed was to leave it alone.

I gave up in the end and went back to the next passing place. He drove by with a sheepish look on his face as I nodded mydisgust.

Shaun Walsh22/08/2019 14:03:07
205 forum posts
13 photos
Posted by Keith Miles 2 on 22/08/2019 12:23:46:

Shaun,

But banning the equipment altogether would require no policing would it?

Problem solved!

What we need is a technology that takes the driving task away from humans altogether.

Oh, hang on.....

smiley

You mean like banning cb radios worked so well that we were given the 35MHz band to replace the unusable 27MHz? And if you banned hands free kit people would just use their phones hand held instead.

Peter Christy22/08/2019 14:04:19
1615 forum posts

Well, I don't know about anyone else, but my Garmin Satnav has been dumped in favour of the Google Maps app on my phone!

The 'phone SatNav has more up-to-date maps, its free, and it has far more up-to-date traffic information! The Garmin was supposed to navigate you around congestion, but it only told you about it once you were in it! The Android satnav is far better at this, and I now use it exclusively.

So is this use of a 'phone going to be banned? And what about those 'phones that connect to the car radio for true hands-free operation? How on earth is this going to be policed?

Nothing reduces the credibility of the law more than unenforceable regulation.

--

Pete

Erfolg22/08/2019 14:18:48
avatar
11429 forum posts
1216 photos

If hands free phones are such a problem, can you imagine the distraction of driving a car at higher than designated speed, whilst feeding information back to unseen person, who is also seeking information. You know the sought of thing, often involves police drivers under a variety of circumstances. Possibly a greater risk?

I did see a television programme how at least one measure of risk was assessed, which involved the participant engaging with some one who was requiring some mental arithmetic, which was not of the 2+2 type, more of cubing 5, then determining the square root, adding 5, finally identify the closest prime number. Running trials of this type are unrealistic.

How different is a hands free conservation to a typical conversation with a passenger?

There has also been calls to ban Sat Navs, also as a distraction. Where in reality they are much safer than using a map. In this case it is a structured, message delivered in a clear, unhurried manner. If you do not obey or are unable to follow the instruction, the response is a redirection in a similar manner.

Probably the problem really is that catching people using their mobiles whilst driving, is then complicated if the car is hands free enabled. It could be simply that a conviction is easier to obtain if the person is seen to be talking or singing to themselves.

I find it bizarre that it is an offense to use a mobile behind the wheel if stationary beside the road, even with the engine off.

John Bisset22/08/2019 14:44:55
198 forum posts
Posted by J D 8 on 22/08/2019 13:23:11:

I live in an area where most of the roads are single track with passing places. It would seem to me that being able to reverse is no longer taught. I was on my tractor the other day and met a young chap in a little Renault.

It was painful watching him try to reverse ten yards in a straight line to a passing place, each attempt ended in the hedge, he just had to turn the wheel when all that was needed was to leave it alone.

I gave up in the end and went back to the next passing place. He drove by with a sheepish look on his face as I nodded mydisgust.

Likewise we have some narrow roads where the ability to reverse, or to look & think well ahead, helps. In fact we frequently have folk reversing past our front garden because of a bend and narrow stretch just beyond us. So far the hedge and fence have survived...

It does intrigue me how few people reverse park today; that is a useful bit of practice they miss. It also avoids the laborious and arguably rather unsafe multi shunt exits!

Shaun Walsh22/08/2019 15:47:13
205 forum posts
13 photos

I can understand not being allowed to use a hand held mobile phone whilst driving, you need two hands to safely operate a vehicle unless specially adapted and therefore I respect the law but using android auto when the phone is attached to the dashboard is a completely different level of risk requiring just one touch or a voice control to operate and therefore, in my mind, the level of risk is the same as turning on the rear windscreen wiper or talking to a passenger. It is impossible to make life risk free and if you try to do so by introducing laws to try to eliminate the smallest of risks you expose the law to ridicule it will not be obeyed.

Do i win the prize for the longest sentence in the thread? 😊

Shaun Walsh22/08/2019 15:49:32
205 forum posts
13 photos
Posted by Peter Christy on 22/08/2019 14:04:19:

Well, I don't know about anyone else, but my Garmin Satnav has been dumped in favour of the Google Maps app on my phone!

The 'phone SatNav has more up-to-date maps, its free, and it has far more up-to-date traffic information! The Garmin was supposed to navigate you around congestion, but it only told you about it once you were in it! The Android satnav is far better at this, and I now use it exclusively.

So is this use of a 'phone going to be banned? And what about those 'phones that connect to the car radio for true hands-free operation? How on earth is this going to be policed?

Nothing reduces the credibility of the law more than unenforceable regulation.

--

Pete

Waze and Google maps are great until you go somewhere where you find there is no phone signal.

Capt Kremen22/08/2019 16:17:24
avatar
306 forum posts
83 photos

I venture the majority, (not all I appreciate!), of the folk on here are retired and highly likely to have less of the working life pressures e.g. paying a (big?) mortgage, holding down a high pressure job etc. etc.

Consider for example the Sales Rep, rushing from one prospective customer to the next and the call from the boss comes in on his hands free whilst driving ... 'Bloggs you're sales figures are rubbish, (or words to that effect!), you're fired!!!'

Where is the drivers attention and focus likely to be????

I am reminded of the Bob Newhart comedy sketch, (available on the 'Tube) regarding smoking and Walter Raleigh ... roll on when driving is similarly looked upon as absurd and no human has to drive, the 'pods' carry us in safety where ever we want to go. No more tail gating, speeding in fog, 'no light' , no indicator dummies, kiddies in boom, boom blue racers, traffic jams etc. etc. Everyone can relax, chat on the phone if they wish, read a book or latest RCM&E, play an instrument, do something really useful instead of just sitting in a tin box on wheels getting overheated at others antics on the road. If only ....

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